Tag: maritime piracy

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IMO expresses concern over mistreatment of seafarers held hostage by pirates

Condemns their use as human shields In the context of the recently-released Indian ship M/V Asphalt Venture, IMO reiterates its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and expresses its concern over the treatment of seafarers being held hostage by pirates operating in waters off the coast of Somalia.In particular, it condemns their use as "human shields" on board recently hijacked ships used as "motherships", or ashore.The M/V Asphalt Venture was hijacked by Somali pirates on 29 September 2010 and was released on 15 April 2011. However, six officers and one rating had been removed from the ship and, at the time of release, were being held at an undisclosed location ashore, where they remain.IMO is concerned for the welfare of all innocent seafarers being held in captivity, and is working towards their timely release. Using seafarers as human shields to continue to engage in piracy - one of the most heinous of crimes against humanity at sea - is totally unacceptable.The IMO World Maritime Day theme for 2011, "Piracy: orchestrating the response" - and its associated action plan - embrace the concept that the safety and well-being of seafarers should be of paramount importance.Source: IMO

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Portuguese take command of EU NAVFOR counter piracy taskforce

Ceremony held at the Commercial Port of Djibouti Today, 14 April, in a ceremony held at the Commercial Port of Djibouti, Portuguese Commodore Alberto Correia took over the command of Task Force 465 (TF 465) as the new European Union Naval Force Headquarters - Operation ATALANTA Force Commander. Commodore Correia takes over the duty from his predecessor, Spanish Rear Admiral Juan Rodriguez.During the handover, presided over by EU NAVFOR Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral Guido Rando, Commodore Correia congratulated Rear Admiral Rodriguez for the results achieved during his command and thanked him for his outstanding efforts. He emphasized that "The mission priorities given to TF 465 are absolutely clear to me. No significant changes will be made in the operational planning process and that escorts to World Food Program and AMISOM will remain as the top priorities".For the next four months, Commodore Correia will lead the Multinational Force Headquarters onboard the EUNAVFOR Portuguese warship NRP VASCO DA GAMA.Source: EU NAVFOR

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MV BELUGA NOMINATION released from pirate control

After being held for 81 days The general cargo ship MV BELUGA NOMINATION was released from pirate control on 13 April 2011 after being held for 81 days.The German owned vessel, which is Antigua & Barbudan flagged, had been pirated on 22 January 2011 approximately 390 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. She was on route to Port Victoria in the Seychelles when she was attacked.The vessel is believed to be making for a safe port.Source: EU NAVFOR

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Piracy feedback is needed

Call for better information from anti-piracy agencies and operators A ship register official has defended flag states against accusations they are failing to employ best practices to prevent pirate attacks and has called for better information from anti-piracy agencies and operators.Arsenio Dominguez of Panama Shipping Register told a recent IMO piracy workshop in London that flag states are sometimes aware of pirate attacks only from media reports and cannot take steps to improve onboard security and awareness without better feedback.

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India wants UN anti-piracy resolution to mention hostage plight

Constitution of a welfare fund for the victims of piracy India is lobbying for a reference to the sufferings of hostages in a proposed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against maritime piracy so that there is greater pressure on ship owners to resolve hijack situations.India also wants the constitution of a welfare fund for the victims of piracy.The UNSC is scheduled to take up a resolution on piracy April 11 that is expected to moot an international judicial mechanism for prosecuting captured pirates."India is hoping that this resolution will also have a reflection on the plight of hostages," a senior external affairs ministry official told IANS, not wishing to be identified because of service rules.According to latest figures, 53 Indian sailors are being held hostage on five different ships. Of them, 17 have been held the longest on MT Savina Caylyn, an Italian ship which was captured over a year ago Feb 8, 2010.Russia has circulated a draft resolution which aims to set up a judicial mechanism to prosecute pirates caught by international navies patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa. It calls for the establishment of three specialised courts, as well as the construction of two new ...

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Shipping lines raise emergency security fees over pirate raids

A 150 per cent jump The cost of imported goods is set to rise following decision by shipping lines to more than double fees charged to facilitate emergency security measures in case of pirate attacks.The shipping lines have announced that they will increase the emergency surcharge fee per container from Sh16,740 to Sh41,550, a 150 per cent jump.This will pile pressure on the cost of imported goods like petroleum, cooking gas, electronics and machinery already hit by the increased cost of commodities at the international market and the weakening Shilling."The costs associated with piracy are increasing and this is affecting business at the port," said Agayo Ogambi, a senior official of the Kenya Shippers Council (KSC).He said the Council plans to oppose the new fees.The increase in emergency surcharge fees -that enables shipping lines to take security measures in case of an attempted attack - apply to the ports of Mombasa and Dar as Salaam.It is another blow to these ports that have been given a wide berth by cruise tourists wary of attacks by gangs from Somalia.The new fees are understood to have been triggered by the increasing cost of hiring private security for vessel escort because of shortage ...

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Laser blasting the pirates

Laser to prevent pirates from aiming their weapons UK defence company BAE Systems is developing a device that uses a laser to prevent pirates from aiming their weapons.It has tested a prototype ashore, but informs that there are many more requirements to meet before a non-lethal laser weapon can be deployed on commercial ships.The company believes its system provides "an effective non-lethal deterrent" against pirate attacks on commercial vessels, and said the laser " would leave only temporary effects, to distract and deter potential attackers from a distance".Source: Safety4Sea

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MV SUSAN K pirated

At least 10 pirates In the early morning of 8 April, theGeneral Cargo ship MV SUSAN K was pirated approximately 200 nautical miles North-East of Salalah, Oman; a location only 35 nautical miles from the Omani coastline.The vessel was attacked and boarded by at least 10 pirates although exact details of the attack are not known at this time.The Antigua & Barbuda flagged and German owned vessel was on its way to Port Sudan (Sudan) from Mumbai (India) when it was attacked. The MV SUSAN K has a crew of 10 (4 Ukraine and 6 Filipino). There is no further information about the crew at present.The MV SUSAN K wasregistered with MSC(HOA) andwas reporting to UKMTO. EUNAVFOR are continuing to monitor the situation.Source: EU NAVFOR

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Pirates got $500 for each hijack

A recent spurt in pirate activity in the Arabian Sea In a bid to strengthen their antipiracy operations, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have combined forces to provide a safe passage to merchant vessels charting waters off Lakshadweep Islands. The move comes in the wake of a recent spurt in pirate activity in the Arabian Sea.Chief public relations officer (Defence) Captain Manohar Nambiar said, "As part of the Operation Island Watch, two ships-naval and Coast Guard-are keeping a hawkeye in the waters to ensure safety of merchant vessels navigating the shipping lanes off Lakshadweep Islands."In addition to the ships, reconnaissance aircraft are carrying out sorties at regular intervals to pre-empt any adventure by the pirates. The naval ships are equipped with adequate arms and ammunition to protect the ships. The Indian Navy has also deployed its elite force of Marine Commandos or MARCOS to counter any offensive by the pirates.A Yellow Gate police officer said that the pirates are funded by big-time players. "The arrested pirates have told us that they were approached by contractors to hijack vessels and were paid $500 for each successful operation . The contractors paid them money to buy arms."According to the statistics ...

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Shipping firms may hire armed guards to improve security

Planning to allow shipping companies recruit armed guards The government is planning to allow shipping companies recruit armed guards to fight pirates, who have hijacked 12 Indian merchant ships in last four years.Ministries of shipping, external affairs and defence are working in tandem to come out with an enabling framework that will help to improve security apparatus on commercial vessels.The industry has been seeking government permission to strengthen their on-board security apparatus specially on ships that use the busy Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean route, where Somali pirates have recently hijacked ships with Indian crew. Although the pirate have not attacked any passenger ship, they have hijacked 12 Indian merchant ships since 2007 and taken 171 crew members hostage."The government is considering the proposal (to allow armed guard on board ships),' the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy said. The three ministries involved in the process have already held discuission with the industry to finalise the contours of the proposed norms."We are considering two options. One is to bring out a law and the second is to issue an executive order, which will be a faster way to safeguard our ships. However, the talks have not concluded as ...

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